Maybe I'm just speaking from the experience of having cut both of my parents out of my life at this point. But how do I reconcile, through a Mormon lens, a parental relationship I don't eventually outgrow? Even with Divine Parents?

Like, I don't envision Heaven as a place where I become a child again. I imagine it as a place where I will be an adult, functioning as a fully capable and independent equal.

Maybe this is why I just don't resonate with depictions of Heavenly Mother where she dotes on tiny children. I never had that with my own mother and I'm not having that experience now with any children of my own.

Someone please make a Heavenly Mother depiction surrounded by a menagerie of animals. That's what I need in my life.

Where I Was During Proposition 8

I was preparing my freshman year of college at BYU. The person I was dating, who brought me into the Church, had just come out to me as gay. If he hadn't told me the truth, there's a good chance we may have actually gotten married, so I felt that loss profoundly.

Moving beyond that was difficult and left me with a lot of unanswered questions of what would happen to him in a larger cosmic sense. He was the first person who made me realize that being gay wasn't a choice because he never would've chosen that for himself.

I felt for the first time that I was encountering something the Church and the Plan of Salvation hadn't prepared me for in any useful way. Every person I went to for help also didn't have answers for my questions, or how to understand God's place in all of this.

When I arrived at BYU, my roommate was a shy wisp of a person from California from old pioneer stock. Her stake had wrangled her into phone banking to track support of Prop 8.

I listened to her get yelled at for hours, watched as it tore away at her spirit.

I had a stronger, if not a more volatile, emotional constitution than her. One day, I asked her to please take a break and let me do it for her. I couldn't watch as the maw of Prop 8 was swallowing her whole.

"No. My leaders gave this to me. I have to do this."

Forever and forever, I will remember how that conversation changed me, the vehement rejection I felt for what I was seeing. What her local leadership in California put her through was violent, abusive, and wrong. No law, public policy, or so-called moral stance was worth that. That was the beginning of the cocktail of cognitive dissonance I've been sipping from ever since. The Church, as far as I'm concerned, doesn't come in any other flavor anymore.

Today, I support full affirmation and unrestricted fellowship for all of our LGBTQIA+ family. I'm waiting for Official Declaration 3. The Church has tried everything else, painting themselves into a similar corner they did with the racist priesthood and temple restrictions. 

Without our LGBTQIA+ folks, the Church has no future worth embracing. It will become a pawn for the religious right to continue enacting violence against innocent people. That's not what Christ would do. Church leadership is in a losing battle to present this situation in any other way to folks like me who were there, who remember how much of a needless and painful waste of resources it was.

Stop Trying to Pray the Gay Away

Rainbow Chair, Maki Yamaguchi

God conquering and subduing LGBTQIA+ bodies to force them to be heterosexual and cisgender is not miraculous.

That's why God doesn't do it. It's not because our Heavenly Parents don't care. They don't answer such prayers because they didn't make a mistake in the first place.

The same goes for parents who try to pray various aspects of their children's identities away.

You cannot fix what isn't broken. But you can break a lot of things, including hearts, when you force anyone to be someone they're not.

Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.

2 Ne. 4:35

God does have the power to help us with our problems, including in miraculous ways. In the language of scripture, we have to learn to "ask not amiss." 

LGBTQ+ folks (including David Archuleta) are people to be loved, not problems to be solved.

Nightmares in the Time of Climate Change

You know that scene in Harry Potter where the boggart would change into the thing you're most afraid of? That's what PTSD nightmares are like. Apparently, what I'm most afraid of has shifted because my boggart changed.

Last night, I was being pulled backwards through time to before my husband knew who I was. He couldn't recognize my voice on the phone.
Tonight, the planet was in total climate collapse. There were shuttles leaving for God knows where. There was only enough money for one of us to get on board. He was nowhere to be found, but the only name on the shuttle was mine. It was the only way he knew I couldn't argue.
I don't know if this is my brain making the connection between the death of American democracy and total climate collapse, but that's what it feels like. It feels like Manchin and Sinema just surrendered in the fight to save our planet and have killed us all in the process.
And faced with that moment of inescapable annhialation, this is the reality my brain wants me to prepare for. The one thing that would undo me from within, and is therefore the greatest threat to my continuing survival. And of course, this couldn't have happened over the weekend. It had to be right now. Three hours before my alarm goes off for a 10 hour work day at a brand new job.
But since my brain decided it needed to know, right now, how I would want to spend my final days on a dying planet. It's not fighting for survival on the last shuttle, especially if it means no one else I love will be there.
There's a Brazilian song all about the love you feel at the end of the world that is in my top 5 songs of all time. It was worth it to go to Brazil and learn Portuguese just to have this song.

"O mundo acaba hoje e estarei dançando com voçe."
Dançando, Pitty
The world ends today and I'll be dancing with you. 
That's how I would want to spend my last day on Earth. With my husband, together. Celebrating the most important thing I ever did right, which was to love him with every inch of my heart. That's what I would want to spend my last breath doing if I had the choice.
It might not be the most feminist thing to say that. I don't care. You know why? Because I was awake, afraid, and disoriented for only a minute before he instinctively reached out and held me in his sleep. When my body was shaking through sobs, he was already there.


 The future on this planet from here on out scares me. That much I know. 
But I also know I've created a tremendous amount of love that's worth celebrating in whatever time I have left. I did that right. I got that right.
If that's my legacy, I'm proud of that.



Happy Pride to All Those Who Celebrate🏳️‍🌈

My baby sister (who is a grown adult) came out as bisexual this week on Facebook. She announced it by showing off her Pride swag from Starbucks. 

I'm simultaneously proud of her and secretly contemplating re-entering the cesspool of Facebook to destroy anyone who even looks at her wrong. She told me to stop being so overbearingly maternal towards her. She's 27. I'm trying, but I can't help it. She'll always be the Rugrat I fed macaroni and cheese to because no one else was going to do it.

Part of why she feels safe enough to do this now is because she's in a stable environment, surrounded by people who love her unconditionally. That's what every person deserves. This is what any God worth worshiping expects us all to be.

You don't know how to respond when someone comes out to you, especially in your family? Love them first. Love them always. Love them forever.
You don't want to feel conflicted about choosing that reaction for the people who matter to you when they come out? Then don't. It's that simple. Don't let anyone else come between you and interfere with that choice. That's not their place. It will never be their place.
The Church's appropriate place in this situation is to teach me how to love her the way she needs me to right now, the way Jesus does. That's how they can be supportive of the families God has ordained. Not abuse, condemnation, criticism, or rejection.
Anyone telling you to reject or condemn the people you love because of sexual orientation is not your friend. They don't care about you. They care about themselves and what other people think of them. They'd turn on you for a Klondike bar. Mark my words.
Anyway. I had rainbows trapped inside of me and had to get them out, or I was gonna explode and get them everywhere. 
🌈Happy Pride!🏳️‍🌈

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